Mental Health and Chronic Pain
People with chronic pain may also have had adverse childhood experiences that can influence how they experience pain. Examples of adverse childhood experiences include violence in the home, experiencing abuse or neglect, having a parent with substance use problems or mental health problems or experiencing parental separation through divorce or death. Psychological approaches can support people with chronic pain to heal from childhood trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder that may be exacerbating their experience of chronic pain.
Psychological approaches to chronic pain
Common psychological approaches for chronic pain include cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness-based approaches. Other approaches that are less commonly used for chronic pain but report positive results include psychodynamic psychotherapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).
Some newer approaches to chronic pain are emerging that integrate several approaches including pain reprocessing therapy (PRT) and emotional awareness and expression therapy (EAET).
Many psychologists and psychotherapists use an integrative approach where they choose the best strategy for you as an individual.
Chronic Pain Ireland and Turn2Me
Chronic Pain Ireland have partnered with Turn2Me who offer high-quality, safe, anonymous, and confidential services where you can gain support for your mental health online. In addition, members of Chronic Pain Ireland can access a monthly anonymous chronic pain support group which is facilitated by a Counsellor with lived experience of chronic pain.
Coping with chronic pain in times of increased stress
Further resources for psychological support
To find a psychologist, visit Psychological Society of Ireland
To find a psychotherapist, visit Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) or The Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP)
For further information on adverse childhood experiences: Fast Facts: Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC
Pain Reprocessing Therapywww.painreprocessingtherapy.com
Emotional awareness and expression therapy (EAET) Unlearn Your Pain
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR Therapy’s Efficacy in the Treatment of Pain | Springer Publishing
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
CBT Self Help Guide: Chronic pain self-help guide | NHS inform
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?